If you have not yet heard of Hug a Vegetarian Day, don't dismay! It's not too late to start training to get your hugging muscles all warmed up to squeeze your favorite vegetarian or vegan.
About Hug a Vegetarian Day
Hug a Vegetarian Day is exactly what the name suggests - an official day for hugging vegans and vegetarians or, if you happen to be a herbivore yourself, for receiving lots of hugs. The occasion is primarily endorsed by the organization peta2, an animal-rights youth group affiliated with the well known activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). It is essentially a reason to celebrate and promote vegetarianism in a fun and affectionate way. This is an annual event, so mark your calendar for the last Friday of every September and plan to shower the vegetarians in your life with affection.
Why hug vegetarians? There are countless good reasons. To name just a few:
- They smell good: A 2006 study published in the academic journal Chemical Senses examined the axillary body odor of two groups of men who followed either a meatless or meat-based diet for two weeks. Study subjects wore odor-collecting pads under the arms for the last day of the study. Female volunteers then evaluated the scent of the pads for sensory appeal. The result? Female evaluators found the body odor of vegetarian men to be superior in terms of pleasantness, masculinity, attractiveness, and intensity. So go find a vegetarian to hug, and breathe deeply.
- You love them: Chances are, the vegetarians in your life will live longer than they would if they were eating meat. The National Institute of Health reports vegetarians typically have lower LDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure and lower body mass indices as well as a reduced risk of cancer, type-2 diabetes, and ischemic heart disease than their non-vegetarian counterparts. Hug your vegetarian loved ones to thank them for taking care of themselves and allowing you to enjoy their company that much longer.
- They are preserving the planet: Going vegetarian may be the single most effective way for individuals to reduce human impact on the environment. The Georgetown Environmental Law Review asserts that the meat industry is a major contributor to the most pressing environmental concerns today, including deforestation, water and air pollution, loss of biodiversity, and greenhouse gas emissions. Vegetarians benefit not just themselves and their families, but everyone on the planet. If that doesn't warrant a hug, what does?
Of course, there are as many reasons to hug a vegetarian as there are vegetarians. Hug your vegetarian children for getting a head start on long, healthy, and ethical lives. Hug your vegetarian spouse for making food choices that cut your grocery bill. Hug yourself for taking positive steps to benefit your own health and conscience.
Celebrate All Year Long
Aside from the obvious, there are numerous ways to celebrate this occasion. If you are not already a vegetarian, consider going meatless for the day. The Meatless Mondays Campaign asserts you can still enjoy some vegetarian benefits by simply cutting back your meat consumption, and if you ask nicely, you might get a hug or two for your efforts. Make it a regular occurrence, and you may soon find yourself joining the ranks of the habitually herbivorous.
If you are already a vegetarian or love somebody who is, feel free to celebrate this holiday all year round. With so many reasons for hugging vegetarians, there is really no reason why every day shouldn't be Hug a Vegetarian Day.